Dawn Of The Holy Roman Empire

9” x 12” - oil on panel

Upon the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 AD, Pope Leo III declared Charlemagne to be the new head of the Roman Empire, which was once the head of Western Christendom until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476. This title was the origin point for what would later be referred to as the “Holy Roman Empire”. An empire consisting of many smaller kingdoms in what is now modern day Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy who's emperor would bare the title “King Of The Romans”. The Holy Roman Empire lasted until 1806.

    Representing a ctitious 14th century army of the Holy Roman Empire, this painting depicts the transition in armour making from early chainmaile to the addition of larger pieces of plate armour. In the early 14th century you see the use of the classic Great Helm commonly depicted on crusader knights to the smaller domed Bascinet depicted here. The Bascinet can be warn with a face mask (on the knight above) or without (bottom left). The soldier on the bottom right is wearing a full Chainmaile Hauberk, more popular in the 13th- early 14th century which a wealthier knight could cover up with a new invention called a Brigandine or Coat Of Plates warn by both the wealthier knights depicted bottom left and top right. The Brigandine was made of many plates of steel sown into a jacket made of cloth, canvas or leather and sometimes velvet. This was an early form of chest plate which as technology advanced was eventually replaced by steel Breast Plates from the late 14th century onwards.


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